The Power of Social Sharing: Empathica’s ‘GoRecommend’ Marks a Milestone, Facilitating Recommendations to More Than 65 Million Friends

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GoRecommend, Empathica’s Advocacy Engine, celebrates its second anniversary of empowering and mobilizing brand advocates to share positive brand experiences online.

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Empathica Inc., a leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to more than 200 of the world’s most respected brands, announced today that its GoRecommend Advocacy Engine is commemorating two successful years of enhancing customer advocacy and driving positive brand recommendations via social media. Since its launch, GoRecommend has been used by over 100 top brands and has driven recommendations that have been shared across more than 65 million friends via social networks.

Launched in June 2009, GoRecommend facilitates the full social advocacy lifecycle, from advocate acquisition and retention, through brand advocacy, to leveraging the social graph for marketing and operational improvement.

After a retail customer experience survey is completed, the GoRecommend engine prompts those customers who were happy with their experience to make an online recommendation via Facebook, Twitter or email. Satisfied customers can also share the brand’s campaigns, coupons and promotions with their friends as part of their recommendations. These can be used to drive traffic to the brand’s location, website or trial of a specific menu item or product.

“The concept of marketing is changing because the way in which consumers access information is changing,” said Julia Staffen, Empathica’s Product Evangelist for GoRecommend. “We live in a social era where it’s essential that brands understand the role social media plays in influencing people’s purchasing decisions. GoRecommend simply empowers brand advocates to share their positive recommendations in a viral manner via the social graph. This is extremely important in driving advocacy and positive and authentic online word of mouth for the brand.”

As an example of this trend, Econsultancy has reported that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. A study by social networking site myYearbook also shows that 81% of respondents said they had received advice on a product purchase from friends or followers on a social networking site, with 74% also saying that the advice was influential. EMarketer data shows the same trend, reporting that consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than when that message comes from brands themselves.

Brands Experience Success with GoRecommend

A diverse number of multi-unit brands have benefited from GoRecommend, including restaurants, autodealers and department stores. As an example of the power of social recommendations, auto dealership Brown’s Automotive Groupfor instance, saw their Facebook fan base double during a three-month pilot of GoRecommend. More than 400 recommendations from real customers were created as a result of positive experiences in Brown’s Sales, Service and Parts departments.

“A lot of people don’t trust traditional advertising, which is why I really like the program,” said Gary Brown, owner of Brown’s Jeep Chrysler Dodge. “With Empathica, and through GoRecommend, it is other people talking about us, and not us talking about us. There’s a lot more validity with one individual talking to another about an experience they had with the Brown’s brand.”

Debenhams, a leading department store in the U.K., has also found success with online recommendations, reaching nearly 1.5 million consumers via social media channels since the launch of GoRecommend.

“Late last year we decided to include a coupon voucher with every recommendation made by an advocate,” said Kate Whittaker, Strategy Manager at Debenhams. “During the two-week promotion, advocates delivered the voucher to their friends and followers on social media via GoRecommend. From those advocates, Debenhams received thousands of redemptions and sales.”

Empathica’s Julia Staffen will be showcasing similar results for other brands, as well as sharing best practices in advocacy management, as moderator of the panel “Rewarding Brand Loyalty: The Evolution of Guest Satisfaction” at the Foodservice Social Media Universe in San Francisco from Sept. 18-20.

GoRecommend is also available for other service industries, ranging from automotive to insurance. To learn more, go to http://www.empathica.com/products.html.

About Empathica:

Empathica provides Customer Experience Management programs to more than 200 of the world's leading brands, ranging from multi-unit retailers, to banks and restaurants. Its rich analysis of survey data using state-of-the-art surveying and dashboard reporting software allows for performance-improvement solutions, evidence-based marketing insights, and customer experience management consulting. Annually, Empathica's 30 million customer surveys in 25 languages reach more than 70,000 locations. A privately-held organization, Empathica is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and also has an office in Birmingham, England, and U.S. executive consultants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Bozeman, Mont. For more information about deriving actionable insights that enhance a brand's operational excellence, visit Empathica at http://www.empathica.com.

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Lauren Eichmann
Walker Sands Communications
+1 (312) 265-3089
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Bruce Warren
Empathica Inc.
+1 (905) 542-9001 242
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